Mind (forthcoming)

Tom McClelland
Cambridge University
Our successful engagement with the world is plausibly underwritten by our sensitivity to affordances in our immediate environment. The considerable literature on affordances focuses almost exclusively on affordances for bodily actions such as gripping, walking or eating. I propose that we are also sensitive to affordances for mental actions such as attending, imagining and counting. My case for this ‘Mental Affordance Hypothesis’ is motivated by a series of examples in which our sensitivity to mental affordances mirrors our sensitivity to bodily affordances. Specifically, subjects perceive opportunities to perform a mental action and their doing so leads, under the right conditions, to the automatic preparation of that action. I conclude by sketching a mental affordance research program that would reinforce my case for the Mental Affordance Hypothesis and establish its ramifications for a number of debates across philosophy and psychology.
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DOI 10.1093/mind/fzz036
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References found in this work BETA

The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception.Marc H. Bornstein - 1980 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 39 (2):203-206.
The Senses Considered as Perceptual Systems.Charles K. West & James J. Gibson - 1969 - Journal of Aesthetic Education 3 (1):142.

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Citations of this work BETA

Mental Action.Antonia Peacocke - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (6):e12741.
The Spontaneity of Emotion.Jean Moritz Müller - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 29 (4):1060-1078.
The Efficacy of Anger.Laura Silva - 2021 - In Ana Falcato (ed.), The Politics of Emotional Shockwaves. London: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 27-55.
Husserlian Horizons, Cognitive Affordances and Motivating Reasons for Action.Marta Jorba - 2020 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences (5):1-22.
The Problem of Intuitive Presence.Miguel Egler - forthcoming - Philosophers' Imprint.

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